Dr. Deborah Van Duinen

Assistant Professor of Education
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Deborah Vriend Van Duinen joined the Hope College faculty in 2010. She was given the Towsley Research Scholar award in 2013 and in 2014 became the program director of The Big Read Holland Area, a community-wide reading program that takes place in November. She is chair of the secondary education team, founder of the education department monthly research colloquies and Hope College’s faculty-student young adult literature book club. She frequently collaborates with English education students and area English high school teachers on research projects and conference presentations. She has been on the board of editors for Perspectives, a journal of Reformed thought, since 2012.

Visit The Big Read Holland Area online

AREAS OF expertise 

Deborah writes and teaches in the area of English education, disciplinary literacy and adolescent literacy. In her work with preservice teachers, Deborah emphasizes inquiry-based teaching and reflective practices.


  • Ph.D., curriculum, instruction and teacher education, Michigan State University, 2011
  • M.A., curriculum and instruction, Calvin College, 2002
  • B.A. in English, religion and theology, Calvin College 1998


  • The Big Read Grant – Program Director, $16,200 grant to support a community-wide reading of The Things They Carried, National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, 2015
  • Christian Scholars Foundation Grant – Emerging Scholars Network grant, $7,500 to support a young adult literature research project, Christian Scholars Foundation, Emerging Scholars Network, 2015
  • The Big Read Grant – Program Director, $16,000 grant to support a community-wide reading of To Kill a Mockingbird, National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, 2014
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association Library of Congress Grant, $2,500 to support faculty-student digital humanities collaborative research, Great Lakes Colleages Association, 2013
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association New Directions Grant, $6,345 awarded for professional development with colleague Dr. Jane Finn, Great Lakes Colleges Association, 2013

Selected Publications

  • “Reading To Kill a Mockingbird in Community: Relationships and Renewal,” with Bolhuis, A., English Journal, January, 2016
  • “‘Who are Our Mockingbirds?’: Participatory Literacies in a Community-Wide Reading Program,” with Schoon-Tanis, K., Journal of Language and Literacy Education 11.1 (listen to the podcast)
  • “Craigslist, LEGO and Wakeboarding: Examining the out-of-school sponsorship of early adolescent boys’ literacy practices,” Research on Teaching and Learning with the Literacies of Young Adolescents, Information Age Publishing, 2015
  • “More Complicated Than You Think: Exploring the relationships between teen boys’ identities and their sports-related literacy practices,” Journal of Sport and Society 3.3, 2013
  • “Teen Boys’ Overlooked and Undervalued Literacy Practices,” Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 57.1, 2013
  • “Holding the words in our mouths,” with Wilson, M., English Journal, 97.3, 2008
  •  “Strategies that improve adolescents’ performance with content-area tests,” with Conley, M., Freidhoff, J., Gritter, K., in Meeting the Challenge of Adolescent Literacy: Research We Have, Research We Need, The Guilford Press, 2008

Outside the College

Deborah is married to Jon Van Duinen and has four pretty fantastic kids – Claire, David, Jacob and Eli. Proud of her Canadian heritage, she is a huge Toronto Maple Leafs and Blue Jays fan and celebrates Canadian Thanksgiving every October with her Hope students. That’s pretty neat, eh? She is an active member of Third Reformed Church

She loves reading so much that she is part of four book clubs, including a mother-daughter and a mother-son book club.

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Dr. Deborah Van Duinen

Phone Number616.395.7737

VanZoeren Hall-Room 287 41 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423-3617